If it seems I am devoting a lot of blog space to condiments lately, that’s because I am. The biggest shift in my diet over the past several months is one from variety to quality. For a long time what I loved was trying new dishes, many of which required a ton of ingredients. More and more I am realizing, however, that I can incorporate something like salad, sweet potatoes, eggs, or salmon (the four of which honestly make up about 75% of my diet) a few times a week and really never get bored with them as long as I vary up condiments and seasonings. That’s where this chimichurri comes in. The following recipe comes from Steak, the Ted Allen Way, and it does seem that steak is the most conventional use for chimichurri. But I have been putting this stuff on everything for the past few days, my favorite being the fried egg pictured above.
2 C cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
2 C parsley leaves and stems, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed with knife
3 T fresh lime juice, or more to taste (I added more like 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
3 T dry red wine
1 T red wine vinegar
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
Roast the jalapeños until charred on all sides. (If you have a gas stove, the easiest way to do this is to turn on a stove eye, stab the jalapeño with a fork or hold it with tongs, and stick it in the flame.) Once they’re charred, put them in a bag or covered bowl to steam and cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients; then peel, stem, and seed them.
Put the jalapeños, cilantro, parsley, garlic, lime juice, red wine, vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt to taste in a blender or food processor and pulse to blend. If you don’t have one of those, a big bowl and an immersion blender also work (that’s what I did). Taste for salt, adding more if needed, and blend again until smooth.
And now you have a condiment that keeps well in the fridge for at least a week (though you probably can’t keep it around that long), and is good on pretty much anything. Try it in places you’d usually use ketchup, salsa, or pesto, and feel like a superhero because, as Livestrong.com points out, “one tablespoon of chopped raw parsley contains appreciable amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous among other minerals; vitamins A, C and K; and several of the B vitamins.” Furthermore, in another article Livestrong.com explains that a serving of fresh cilantro provides over 100% of the daily recommended vitamin A, 45% of vitamin C, nearly 400% of vitamin K, as well as 521 mg potassium. Woo hoo!
Disclaimer: Don’t let an aversion to cilantro prevent you from trying this recipe. I do not, in general, like cilantro (in fact I usually hate it, especially in large quantities), but I love this stuff. Also, when it comes to making chimichurri, apparently there are endless variations. This is the only one I’ve had, and it’s not super authentic, so feel free to play around with ingredient combinations and proportions based on what you have in the pantry. Some people use shallots or onions instead of garlic. Others use oregano instead of cilantro, or white vinegar instead of red wine.